Reposted from my old blog (edited for brevity):

The Rules of Supper Club

#1 – The first rule of Supper Club is, you do not talk about Supper Club.

#2 – The second rule of Supper Club is, you DO NOT talk about Supper Club.

#3 – If the scheduled hosts beg illness/fatigue/homework/childcare woes, their night moves to the next week.

#4 – Two types of wine a night.

#5 – One pasta item at a time.

#6 – No picky eaters, no inhibitions.

#7 – Suppers will go on as long as they have to or until the hosts begin yawning ostensibly and checking the time with great intent and frequency.

#8 – If this is your first night at Supper Club, you have to cook.

One Summer’s eve, during an estrogen heightened and wine soaked Eat, Pray, Love post-viewing party (seen mainly for the Eat part by everyone but myself), Supper Club was palatably founded.  Between nibbles of Mango Ginger Stilton and tatters of delicate prosciutto, 5 of us ladies agreed on an arrangement of each hosting a main meal for the group (including our significant others) in our respective abodes on a Tuesday night rotation.  The non-hosts would then come bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh. Or wine/beer/salad/side dish/dessert. On rice paper, this seemed entirely plausible and a complete no-brainer.  One would be rescued from having to prepare supper one night a week for at least 4 times before their turn came around again.

So it became, that Tuesday, the most innocuous, inconsequential day of the week, were nights that we grew to anticipate salivating-ly. Always it was delightful to savor somebody else’s culinary offerings and have them ooh and ahh in reciprocation at whatever it was that you also brought to the table.  During the course of Supper Club we dined on sage pumpkin risotto, sun-dried garden tomato pasta, Mediterranean couscous, spicy shrimp, a smorgasbord of savory tapas, grilled bratwurst, fresh stewed Italian vegetables, Penne Bolognese, Chicken Tikka Masala, spinach paneer and a slew of other creations.

Somehow (most likely steered by my own gumption and ambition), I became the de facto dessert maker. My most elaborate contribution (which incidentally led me to win a lovely cookbook courtesy of 2 Savory Palates), the Gateau St. Honoré, seemed to be my most successful.  It is a very elegant combination of puff pastry and choux pastry filled with pastry cream. Since it was right around the holidays, I made it using seasonal pomegranates for embellishment. And then I put a bird on it!

Currently, Supper Club is on hiatus due to schedule restructuring. Stay tuned for the next season.

Gateau St. Honoré

Choux Pastry
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 cup flour 4 eggs
1 sheet puff pastry (cut into a 10″ circle)
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Heat water and butter and boil; stir in flour, until the flour forms a ball and leaves the side of the pan.
  • Take off the heat and cool.
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.
  • Divide choux pastry in half.
  • Pipe rings of choux pastry on top of puff pastry disc and transfer to a parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Drop the remaining choux pastry by teaspoon onto a parchment lined cookie sheet to make 9 medium pastry shells.
  • Bake both at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then 350 degrees for another 10 minutes.
  • Turn off oven and leave inside to cool and crisp for 20 minutes.
Pastry Cream
2 1/4 c whole milk
4 egg yolks
2/3 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
1/4 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
2/3 c heavy cream or whipping cream
  • In 3-quart saucepan, heat 2 cups milk to boiling over high heat.
  • Meanwhile, in large bowl, with wire whisk, beat egg yolks, sugar, and remaining 1/4 cup milk until smooth; whisk in cornstarch and flour until combined.
  • Gradually whisk hot milk into egg-yolk mixture.
  • Return mixture to saucepan, cook over medium-high heat until mixture thickens and boils, whisking constantly.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook 2 minutes, whisking.
  • Remove saucepan from heat; stir in vanilla and salt.
  • Pour pastry cream into pie plate or shallow dish.
  • Press plastic wrap onto surface of pastry cream to keep skin from forming as it cools.
  • Refrigerate 2 hours or until cold, or overnight.
  • When ready to use, with mixer at medium speed, beat cream just until stiff peaks form.
  • With wire whisk, beat pastry cream to loosen.
  • Whisk half of whipped cream into pastry cream, then with rubber spatula, fold in remaining whipped cream.

Pomegranate Sauce

1 1/2 cups juice from 4 pomegranates/POM juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup fresh pomegranate arils
  • Stir the juice, sugar and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan on low heat and reduce down to half.
  • Set aside to cool. Stir pomegranate arils in sauce.
  • Fill the center of the pastry base with half of the pastry cream.
  • Fill profiteroles with remaining pastry cream.
  • Dip profiteroles in pomegranate sauce and place in a circle atop pastry base.
  • Dust gateau with powdered sugar (optional) and drizzle pomegranate sauce on top.
  • Embellish with leftover puff pastry and a small ornament.

Corky Nepomuceno

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